News

SFO airplane route changes slightly

Planes may now pass over East Palo Alto -- a quarter-mile east of the MENLO waypoint

Planes flying to San Francisco International Airport from the south started taking a slightly different route on Thursday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Under the new route, residents of East Palo Alto could find planes overhead more frequently.

The FAA updated the San Francisco arrival route known as SERFR to improve safety and operations. Now called SERFR3 -- for the third iteration of the route -- the path is taken by planes flying up from the south and inland from the coast, crossing the mountains near Santa Cruz and over Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto before heading north to San Francisco International Airport.

Planes on SERFR3 will then connect to paths, known as instrument approaches, to land at SFO.

"Aircraft that are on these instrument approaches may be approximately ¼-mile east of the current MENLO waypoint when they pass over East Palo Alto," an FAA spokesperson stated in an email.

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Planes flying along the SERFR3 route will be allowed to glide rather than have to throttle back to slow down, which creates more noise. Known as an optimized profile descent, it is no different than how planes fly using the current SERFR2.

Jets coming in to airports must fly on routes and at certain altitudes by reaching specific "waypoints" along the path. The entire SERFR3 travel path is within the highly controlled, existing Class B airspace around San Francisco International Airport. Classes of airspace can be restricted to certain uses -- such as commercial or military -- and pertain to spaces between certain altitudes in which planes may fly.

The FAA did raise altitudes for flights at certain points west on SERFR3, where planes from the south cross land after flying over the Pacific Ocean, an agency spokesperson in an email.

Aircraft noise opponents have sought to move the MENLO waypoint near the border of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto or have planes fly over at a higher altitude as part of requested revisions to the FAA's NextGen program, a modernization of the air-travel system mandated by Congress.

Residents along the NextGen routes nationwide have complained about unbearable levels of noise and air traffic.

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Even with flight routes such as SERFR3 , air traffic controllers occasionally decide to send some aircraft off the published SERFR3 and instrument approaches for safety and sequencing purposes, according to the FAA. This can happen when flights stack up on their approach to the airport, for example.

The SERFR3 update is unrelated to the proposal to return flights to the Big Sur arrival route, which is part of a potential revision the FAA is looking into to ease noise issues, the FAA stated.

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SFO airplane route changes slightly

Planes may now pass over East Palo Alto -- a quarter-mile east of the MENLO waypoint

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 9:50 pm

Planes flying to San Francisco International Airport from the south started taking a slightly different route on Thursday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Under the new route, residents of East Palo Alto could find planes overhead more frequently.

The FAA updated the San Francisco arrival route known as SERFR to improve safety and operations. Now called SERFR3 -- for the third iteration of the route -- the path is taken by planes flying up from the south and inland from the coast, crossing the mountains near Santa Cruz and over Palo Alto, Menlo Park and East Palo Alto before heading north to San Francisco International Airport.

Planes on SERFR3 will then connect to paths, known as instrument approaches, to land at SFO.

"Aircraft that are on these instrument approaches may be approximately ¼-mile east of the current MENLO waypoint when they pass over East Palo Alto," an FAA spokesperson stated in an email.

Planes flying along the SERFR3 route will be allowed to glide rather than have to throttle back to slow down, which creates more noise. Known as an optimized profile descent, it is no different than how planes fly using the current SERFR2.

Jets coming in to airports must fly on routes and at certain altitudes by reaching specific "waypoints" along the path. The entire SERFR3 travel path is within the highly controlled, existing Class B airspace around San Francisco International Airport. Classes of airspace can be restricted to certain uses -- such as commercial or military -- and pertain to spaces between certain altitudes in which planes may fly.

The FAA did raise altitudes for flights at certain points west on SERFR3, where planes from the south cross land after flying over the Pacific Ocean, an agency spokesperson in an email.

Aircraft noise opponents have sought to move the MENLO waypoint near the border of Menlo Park and East Palo Alto or have planes fly over at a higher altitude as part of requested revisions to the FAA's NextGen program, a modernization of the air-travel system mandated by Congress.

Residents along the NextGen routes nationwide have complained about unbearable levels of noise and air traffic.

Even with flight routes such as SERFR3 , air traffic controllers occasionally decide to send some aircraft off the published SERFR3 and instrument approaches for safety and sequencing purposes, according to the FAA. This can happen when flights stack up on their approach to the airport, for example.

The SERFR3 update is unrelated to the proposal to return flights to the Big Sur arrival route, which is part of a potential revision the FAA is looking into to ease noise issues, the FAA stated.

Comments

Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:05 am
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:05 am
12 people like this

"Planes flying along the SERFR3 route will be allowed to glide rather than have to throttle back to slow down, which creates more noise. Known as an optimized profile descent, it is no different than how planes fly using the current SERFR2."

This suggests that planes were gliding with SERFR2 but it is known that planes were not gliding with SERFR 2 because of two reasons. One is the Class B issue which is now resolved, and the other is the congestion issues at Menlo. SERFR3 has changed in that the procedure used to end at Menlo, but now it ends at the waypoint EDDYY (where there are no congestion problems). Therefore, with Class B excursions resolved and with SERFR3 no longer ending in a congested area, SERFR3 should have *very different* performance all the way to it's final point EDDYY.
Key to know is that Palo Alto and neighbors are NOT under the optimized route anymore (which was never optimized with SERFR2 anyway).

"Planes on SERFR3 will then connect to paths, known as instrument approaches, to land at SFO."

This is the killer. "Instrument" means planes have to use 4000 feet at the Menlo/PA/EPA vicinity, and this means that SERFR3 could be as bad or worse than SERFR 2. "Instrument" approaches have zero gliding, it's pretty much SFO jet herding or drive and drill over Menlo/PA/EPA at low altitudes to be "handy" to meet SFO needs.

"The SERFR3 update is unrelated to the proposal to return flights to the Big Sur arrival route, which is part of a potential revision the FAA is looking into to ease noise issues, the FAA stated."

It's very related. The proposal to return flights to Big Sur was intended to fix noise problems, and it is why the Select Committee voted for the return to BSR with specific criteria to have planes at least at 5000 feet and above at Menlo AND for the optimized route to go all the way to the end. That would help address the noise problems. There was no agreement to use "instrument" connections with the BSR proposal. FAA has said they cannot raise altitudes at Menlo, suggesting they want the "instrument" connections?

At anty rate, SERFR 3 should fix the noise problems up to EDDYY (planes actually gliding at high altitudes). If SERFR3 doesn't fix the problems than it means that the concepts which the Select Committee worked with were erroneous. That would mean that the "return" to BSR has been a three year waste of time.

FAA speak with terms like "approximately" or that the routes are "not different" is notorius. It would be helpful if the press could dig in deeper to be more specific, or to point to a fuller picture so people are not misinformed.


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:19 am
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:19 am
4 people like this

See the comparison of SERFR2 and SERFR3,

Web Link

notice where SERFR 3 ends.


jj
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:04 am
jj, Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:04 am
4 people like this

@Clarifications, what happens on SERFR3 after EDDY?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:16 am
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:16 am
4 people like this

I'm having trouble reconciling the words with the map. From the map it looks like SERFR3 routes planes higher for longer than SERFR2?

Is this a map somewhere which shows where the EDDYY is?


jj
Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:20 am
jj, Charleston Gardens
on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:20 am
6 people like this

@Anon

EDDY is right over Rancho San Antonio
Web Link


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm
3 people like this

jj,

"what happens on SERFR3 after EDDY?"

After EDDYY,

"Planes on SERFR3 will connect to paths, known as instrument approaches"that route planes to SFO. The chart states "expect assigned instrument approach."

"Aircraft that are on these instrument approaches may be approximately ¼-mile east of the current MENLO waypoint when they pass over East Palo Alto," an FAA spokesperson stated in an email."

FAA didn't mention the the altitude for the instrument approaches target 4000 feet at the Menlo/PA/EPA vicinity.

per article
"Even with flight routes such as SERFR3 , air traffic controllers occasionally decide to send some aircraft off the published SERFR3 and instrument approaches for safety and sequencing purposes, according to the FAA. This can happen when flights stack up on their approach to the airport, for example.

Being "off" a published procedure means vectoring. Vectoring are last minute decisions to meet SFO/airline sequencing needs which means planes are free range. Palo Alto and neighbors have additional vectored traffic from other published routes. Free range at low alitudes is not good. Neither are the insrument approaches at low altitudes.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Mar 30, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Mar 30, 2018 at 3:17 pm
16 people like this

Great job FAA - stick it to the low income/low political influence neighborhoods East of 101.

Shame on you!


Sanjay
Menlo Park
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:08 pm
Sanjay, Menlo Park
on Mar 30, 2018 at 4:08 pm
2 people like this

Re "Free range at low alitudes is not good. Neither are the insrument approaches at low altitudes."

Um... Arrivals such as SURFR.2 position traffic, largely commercial traffic, to start an instrument approach to land. Instrument approaches are stepwise procedures designed to land planes safely in less-than-clear weather.

In other words, the only point of instrument approaches is for use "at low altitudes". They are definitely non "not good".

(Other than in places like Alaska where radar coverage can be spotty, commercial traffic is always instrument traffic. However, not all instrument traffic is commercial; some may be private.)

Re: "Vectoring are last minute decisions to meet SFO/airline sequencing needs which means planes are free range": Our neighborhoods lie under the San Francisco Class B airspace. Similar to LAX, JFK, etc., it's a highly challenging ATC environment. Think three-dimensional Tetris.

Vectoring is sometimes necessary, typically in inclement weather. But it is *very* far from what any informed observer may label "free range". Vectored aircraft remain under active control, and they're put there well before the instrument approach is initiated. Planes are at a higher altitude and further away from congested airport environs. There is little downside, other than irritated passengers and extra emissions.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Mar 30, 2018 at 6:32 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Mar 30, 2018 at 6:32 pm
20 people like this

"Great job FAA - stick it to the low income/low political influence neighborhoods East of 101."

Let 'em have it, Peter. Now solve the problem. Push for SERFR4 over Atherton.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Mar 30, 2018 at 8:32 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Mar 30, 2018 at 8:32 pm
5 people like this

Curmudgeon - You are not paying attention. SERFR2 directed plane over Atherton.


Juan
Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2018 at 9:10 pm
Juan, Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2018 at 9:10 pm
18 people like this

Planes landing in the City and County of San Francisco should not be flying planes 4,000 feet over Santa Clara County, end of story, especially considering we have enough noise problems from SJC. I agree they shouldn't be flying over San Mateo County either, but it's more reasonable because San Mateo County is adjacent.

Why is San Francisco allowed to profit millions at the expense of their neighbors? Why can't all flights stay at 10,000+ feet until either over the Bay or over the City and County of San Francisco? MONEY, that's why.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Mar 30, 2018 at 9:43 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Mar 30, 2018 at 9:43 pm
9 people like this

"Curmudgeon - You are not paying attention. SERFR2 directed plane over Atherton."

Then pattern SERFR4 on it, and your problem is solved.


Jetman
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 1:24 am
Jetman, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 1:24 am
23 people like this

Only about half of the noise from a commercial jet comes from the engines. The other half comes from the air-frame. Air-frame noise is proportional to V^6 so a relatively small increase in approach velocity could cancel out any reduction in noise due to lower engine RPM.

It is important to remember the FAA was not set up to serve the public. The FAA was set up to serve the aviation industry. The underlying goal of anything the FAA does is increase aviation commerce. If the FAA implements a new route or flight profile it does it to increase industry profits by reducing fuel consumption and/or increasing airport throughput.

The City and County of San Francisco owns and operates SFO and collects a landing fee from every aircraft that lands at SFO and a airport tax from every passenger.

SFO also makes money by leasing terminals, renting out retail and restaurant space, collecting parking fees, transportation service fees (taxis, ride-shares, and shuttle buses pay SFO a fee to service the airport), food service and fuel concessions, etc.


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2018 at 8:26 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Mar 31, 2018 at 8:26 am
1 person likes this

> Only about half of the noise from a commercial jet comes from the engines. The other half comes from the air-frame.

It sure seems like what I am hearing when a plane flies overhead is engine noise, but I just took that for granted.

That is interesting, if counter-intuitive, but then the marketing from these new generation airplanes that are advertised as being quieter is clearly incorrect, we are getting much more noise in our communities from these supposedly new quieter planes flying overhead.

Jetman, do you have any links to explanations about this? If it is true it explains a lot.


HitTheMoney
another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 10:42 am
HitTheMoney, another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 10:42 am
12 people like this

Pathetic. You can't get an elected official in this entire state to come out on the record and unequivocally condemn NextGen's 24/7 low altitude flight paths as a threat to human health and the environment. But hey, a California judge is going after COFFEE for the threat it poses to human health. Oh! I don't know what to do with this bravery, this incredible display of spine we're witnessing. Hello? Even if coffee posed a threat it's a choice. Who on the ground gets to choose this hell over our heads? What a joke.

Don't fly and don't ship by air unless your back is to the wall. This hell won't end until you hit the money. What other business could not only survive but be profitable by torturing its customers like this? It's insane. Profits will have to be impacted to turn this around.


HitTheMoney
another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 10:56 am
HitTheMoney, another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 10:56 am
5 people like this

Aviation hammers us with noise and dumps pollutants on us, so I guess California better get going on its lawsuit against this industry, right? No, coffee is the clear and present danger:

"Berle’s ruling could spell bad news for coffee companies. The third phase of the California trial, brought by non-profit organization the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, will determine any civil penalties that coffee companies must pay.

The potential penalties are massive, if unlikely, with a fine of up to $2,500 per person exposed each day over eight years. California has 40 million residents."

(Guardian article link, "Give up coffee? Fuhgeddaboudit, say New Yorkers after California ruling": Web Link)


HitTheMoney
another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 11:11 am
HitTheMoney, another community
on Mar 31, 2018 at 11:11 am
12 people like this

In addition to cutting use of this industry to the bare minimum possible, we need a class action lawsuit against the aviation industry. Our elected officials in Congress legislated this hell and the FAA is simply carrying out its orders, both at the direction of the aviation industry that's behind this for the #1 goal of profits over people and the environment. Enough is enough. Hit the money!


musical
Palo Verde
on Mar 31, 2018 at 11:52 am
musical, Palo Verde
on Mar 31, 2018 at 11:52 am
3 people like this

If we went back to letting only rich people fly, then we'd have fewer flights.


Giraffe
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm
Giraffe, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:11 pm
5 people like this

@Peter Carpenter:
> Great job FAA - stick it to the low income/low political influence neighborhoods East of 101.

Peter, what do you mean? Don't both SERFR2 and SERFR3 go over neighborhoods east of 101? The track has changed a bit, but ...

> Curmudgeon - You are not paying attention. SERFR2 directed plane over Atherton.

Peter, what do you mean by 'directed plane over Atherton'? SERFR2 ended at MENLO which is in the Willows, near Laurel and OKeefe. So SERFR2 itself did not go over Atherton did it? And after MENLO, planes would proceed over Belle Haven to the bay, again, not passing over Atherton. I suppose an occasional plane vectored off SERFR2 might have flown over Atherton, but I think that would have been a rare occurence...


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm
4 people like this

SEFR2 directed planes to MENLO.

MENLO Is WEST of 101

A significant percentage of planes passing over MENLO then passed over Menlo Park West of 101 and Lindenwood.

SEFR3 moves planes to the EAST and therefore away from homes that are West of 101.


An Engineer
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm
An Engineer, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm
6 people like this

"> Only about half of the noise from a commercial jet comes from the engines. The other half comes from the air-frame. ... That is interesting, if counter-intuitive, but then the marketing from these new generation airplanes that are advertised as being quieter is clearly incorrect, we are getting much more noise in our communities from these supposedly new quieter planes flying overhead."

The same mechanism causes both engine and airframe noise: turbulent eddies in the air behind the airplane. They whoosh. They rumble. They roar. Those eddies are created by the swift engine exhaust streams shearing against the ambient air, and by air vortexes shed by the wings. The wing vortexes are worst when the flaps are extended for approach to landing, and minimal with the flaps stowed for flight. You probably have noticed that the cabin noise in the planes you ride gets much worse after the pilot extends the flaps. That's the airframe noise enhancement.

Newer planes are aerodynamically cleaner in all configurations, which makes them both quieter and more fuel-efficient. But the FAA insists on routing them closer to us groundlings, thus maintaining or enhancing our net noise nuisance. Be grateful the airlines retired most of those hungry noisy old 747s before the FAA rolled out its newest better idea ;~}


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Mar 31, 2018 at 4:12 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 4:12 pm
2 people like this

" But the FAA insists on routing them closer to us groundlings"

It is very difficult to land an airplane without first getting it close to "groundlings."


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2018 at 6:31 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Mar 31, 2018 at 6:31 pm
7 people like this

"It is very difficult to land an airplane without first getting it close to "groundlings."

Peter Carpenter - You are not paying attention. The point of this thread and its progenitors is those planes are flying closer to the "groundlings" than they used to.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm
Like this comment

"The FAA did raise altitudes for flights at certain points west on SERFR3, where planes from the south cross land after flying over the Pacific Ocean,"

Higher altitudes are, by definition, not closer to "groundlings".


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm
6 people like this

P. Carpenter,

Need to distinguish that SERF3 ends at EDDYY. That is by Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preseserve.

Curmudgeon is correct that "planes are flying closer to the "groundlings" than they used to"

The lowest altitudes over groundlings are *after EDDY*

Before SERFR, planes flew higher over groundlings


Giraffe
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:27 am
Giraffe, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:27 am
2 people like this

Peter - So we agree that planes that are actually ON SERFR2 did not fly over Lindenwood.

You then say
> A significant percentage of planes passing over MENLO then passed over Menlo Park West of 101 and Lindenwood.

I have watched LOTS of planes on flightradar24 and don't recall seeing any planes, whether on SERFR2 or not, cross MENLO and then cross Lindenwood.

I have seen an occasional plane that has been vectored off SERFR2 cross Lindenwood, and I have seen an occasional BDEGA West plane cross Lindenwood. But, these planes did not cross MENLO.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:33 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:33 am
3 people like this

I live in Lindenwood and often look up at the bellies of planes that have been vectored over MENLO.


Lovely to see and they do not bother me.


Polly Wanacracker
Professorville
on Apr 1, 2018 at 12:52 pm
Polly Wanacracker, Professorville
on Apr 1, 2018 at 12:52 pm
8 people like this

[Post removed.]


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm
2 people like this

"The FAA did raise altitudes for flights at certain points west on SERFR3, where planes from the south cross land after flying over the Pacific Ocean,"

Nice goof. SERFR3 ends miles upstream from the zone we're talking about Web Link. Also, the altitude at its EDDYY terminus is the same as for SERFR2, so no improvement at the relevant end: "cross EDDYY at 6000 and at 240K." Pay attention.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 1:34 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 1:34 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm
6 people like this

P Carpenter,

You forgot or knowingly suggested in a misleading manner that altitudes have been raised in response to curmudgeon's post that planes are flying closer to groundlings than they used to, obviously in the area that matters to readers here, a publication largely read by Palo Alto residents.

Were you just trying to spin? If you care about everyone, no need to mislead Downtown North Groundlings.

Altitudes are low and lower than before (in the Menlo/PA/EPA vicinity)... with *both* SERFR2 and SERFR3.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm
2 people like this

"in the area that matters to readers here....."

Precisely the problem - when people only worry about what impacts them personally then there is no way to produce an equitable solution.


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 3:03 pm
12 people like this

Peter C,

"when people only worry about what impacts them personally then there is no way to produce an equitable solution."

It is normal for people to care about what impacts them. Equitable solutions should in theory come from good government or maybe a democracy.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm
6 people like this

"when people only worry about what impacts them personally then there is no way to produce an equitable solution."

Equitable solutions depend on truth. If you really advocate equitable solutions then don't indulge in distortions and spinchain.


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm
2 people like this

Please post examples of distortions that I have posted.


Fed up
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm
Fed up , Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm
4 people like this

So why is it that FAA fixed noise everywhere except where it is worst which is around Menlo Way point? It raised the altitude over Santa Cruz and Los Altos and yet ignored every possible solution for the area worst affected by it?
Which route do these planes take when they rerotiue SJC bound flights to go over out head at below 3000F? Is FAA /SFO acknowledging that they are using less safer route to allow for SJC flights to use our space or is there enough bandwidth to absorb and safely route the SFO planes when they have to accommodate other unexpected flights (SJC bound)? So which one is it? If they are NOT using unsafe routes, then why aren’t they utilizing those routes more often and make these flights more equatable? WHy send 60% of the SFO bound flights over our head using all 3 routes and not use other waypoints that they otherwise use?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:05 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:05 pm
20 people like this

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on May 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.
There are two alternative solutions to the noise problem. The first distributes the noise more uniformly over all South Bay communities and the second moves the noise either over the Bay and, South of the Bay, to higher altitudes over populated areas.

The equal distribution proposal:

Using the concept of a herring bone pattern and Advanced (or curved) Controlled Descent Approaches (CDA’a)

1 – Establish two 25 mile plus 284 degree radials form SFO – one as an extension of Runway 28 Right and the second as an extension of Runway 28 Left.

2 – Place intercept points on each of these 284 deg radials at ½ mile intervals starting 10 miles from SFO where the 3 degree glide path interception point would be at 3000 ft and continuing out to the 25 mile point for a total of 32 interception points on both radials.

3 – ATC to randomly assign Curving CDAs to airplanes from the North and East to the 16 interception points on 28 Right radial.

4 - ATC to randomly assign Curving CDAs to airplanes from the South and West to the 16 interception points on 28 Left radial.

5 – Between 2100 (9 PM) and 0600 (6 AM) aircraft would be randomly assigned to interceptions point no closer than 20 miles from SFO.


The minimize impact on populated areas proposal:

1 - All SFO inbound traffic from the North and the East must use the RNAV (GPS) X RWY 28R approach and must enter that approach at the ANETE Initial Approach Fix (IAF) for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,

Alternatively these aircraft could us the ILS or LOC RWY 28R approach and must enter at ARCHI IAF for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,

2 - All SFO inbound traffic from the South and the West must use the RNAV (GPS) X RWY 28L approach and must enter that approach at the Faith IAF which has a minimum crossing altitude of 7000 ft.,


Entry to this approach via MENLO intersection would not be permitted.

Alternatively these aircraft could us the ILS or LOC RWY 28L approach and must enter at the FAITH IAF for which the minimum crossing altitude is 7000 ft,


Entry to this approach via MENLO intersection would not be permitted.


3 - SFO and SJC must be landing in the same direction unless the wind differential between them is greater than 1o knots.


Giraffe
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:15 pm
Giraffe, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:15 pm
Like this comment

Curmedgeon said
> Also, the altitude at its EDDYY terminus is the same as for SERFR2, so no improvement at the relevant end: "cross EDDYY at 6000 and at 240K."

As I understand it, yes, the altitude at EDDY is the same (6000') for both SERFR2 and SERFR3. However, EDDY in SERFR3 has moved closer to the bay, to the point where SWELS was in SERFR2, which is 4700'. If this is correct, then SERFR3 is 1300' higher at this point than was SERF2.


Giraffe
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:21 pm
Giraffe, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:21 pm
1 person likes this

Clarifications said:
> Need to distinguish that SERF3 ends at EDDYY. That is by Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preseserve.

So, am I wrong in thinking that for SERFR3, EDDY moved from near Rancho San Antonio to near University and El Monte?


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:32 pm
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:32 pm
10 people like this

Named aviation waypoints never move.

When a new waypoint is required it is given a unique name and a precise location.


Curmudgeon
Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:36 pm
Curmudgeon, Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:36 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


@Curmudgeon
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Apr 1, 2018 at 7:08 pm
@Curmudgeon, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 7:08 pm
2 people like this

[Post removed.]


?Curmudgeon
another community
on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:02 pm
?Curmudgeon, another community
on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:02 pm
4 people like this

[Post removed.]


Giraffe
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Apr 2, 2018 at 12:40 am
Giraffe, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2018 at 12:40 am
9 people like this

Peter:
> Named aviation waypoints never move.
> When a new waypoint is required it is given a unique name and a precise location.

That makes sense to me, but the .pdf file at the third link on this website which describes the new SERFR3:
Web Link

says:

> CHANGES:
> 1. ADDED NARWL WP TO THE PROCEDURE (NORCAL TRACON).
> 2. MOVED EDDYY WP 3.04NM NORTH, NEW IAF, MAKING IT THE TERMINUS OF THE STAR (NORCAL TRACON).
> 3. REMOVED MENLO and SWELS FROM THE PROCEDURE (NORCAL TRACON).
> 4. REMOVED RUNWAY 28L/R RUNWAY TRANSITIONS (NORCAL TRACON).
> 5. REMOVED MEAs and MOCAs

So, SERFR3 EDDYY at 6000' is at the point where SERFR2 SWELS used to be at 4700'.
And there is this new 'thing' (I guess it is not a 'waypoint' because it is not on a STAR?) called SIDBY that is about .25nm east of MENLO and which planes are supposed to cross after leaving SERFR3 at 4000' AND ABOVE (whereas wasn't MENLO just AT 4000'?).

So it seems to me that planes can
- fly from Los Altos to 101 1300' higher than they used to on SERFER2
- or, fly a steeper descent , which I presume means they can do some throttling back
- or some combo of both.

But, I am not an expert in all this ...


Peter Carpenter
Registered user
Atherton
on Apr 2, 2018 at 7:45 am
Peter Carpenter, Atherton
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2018 at 7:45 am
4 people like this

Great catch.

Here is the actual text: "MOVED 3.04NM NORTH. RETAINED NAME FOR OPERATIONAL NECESSITY"

I have never seen that done before and, as a IFR rated pilot, I wonder how ATC and pilots will distinguish between the old and new location of EDDYY. If a pilot is erroneously using an old chart and is directed to fly to EDDYY and goes to the old location rather than the new location that could be a real problem.


Clarifications
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:04 am
Clarifications, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:04 am
Like this comment

Giraffe,

Apologies, I erroneously used the old EDDYY location.


HitTheMoney
another community
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:06 am
HitTheMoney, another community
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:06 am
10 people like this

Polly Wanacracker's post was removed? Nothing offensive in it except a light-touch sense of humor. Has anyone else who is outraged by NextGen's 24/7 low altitude barrage noticed how nearly all media outlets that cover this in any way permit those who brag how much they love aircraft noise, seeing the bellies of planes blast over their roofs, such a thrill! etc., are permitted to hurl all sorts of derogatory comments, personal attacks, without their comments being removed. The media appears biased for the aviation run amok enthusiasts for the most part.


Resident
Portola Valley
on Apr 2, 2018 at 10:30 am
Resident, Portola Valley
on Apr 2, 2018 at 10:30 am
21 people like this

Bottom line is this: The FAA serves the aviation industry. SFO serves the city of SF and the FAA. It's all about making the most amount of money for SF, the airlines, and the FAA. They have no reason to care about any of us. Bugger their arguments about "safety," "time saved for fliers," or "fuel savings." It's all about maximizing the number of flights in and out of the airport.

If we want the FAA to hear us and help us, we need to try to get them on our side.

Deregulation of the airlines was the demise of the public input on how these facilities affect lives around them---human, wildlife, domestic animals, etc. The fumes are getting worse, the noise is beyond awful, and it affects an area far greater than the towns immediately adjacent to SFO.

It's no accident that the managers of SFO live in Marin, far away from all of the noise, fumes, and anger.

Also, fyi: NexGen is a disaster all over the country. Check out noise complaints in areas all around any other airports in other parts of the country. Everyone hates it.


HitTheMoney
another community
on Apr 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm
HitTheMoney, another community
on Apr 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm
6 people like this

As if the commercial, cargo, military, GA and drones buzzing our heads 24/7 weren't enough, check out today's news stories about NASA and Lockheed Martin building a supersonic plane which they intend to fly at supersonic speeds over urban, suburban and rural areas to test the response of people on the ground to the noise, the "sonic boom" which they "intend" to have us experience as a "thump" or a "double-thump" by the time it reaches the ground.

None of what we're going through now, and what's on the agenda happens without Congress. Congress is ultimately legislating for industry and its investors to the detriment of human health and the environment.

When hitting us with a thump or double-thump is in the pipeline who thinks these meetings and studies etc. are going anywhere? BTW, the studies have existed a LONG time. Congress and the private interests it's serving above the common good are WELL aware of the health impacts up to and including premature death, but a small percentage of people making crap loads of money trumps all. When greed operates like this, is deadly and without conscience, there's only one way to control it; make such wanton greed backfire, make it LOSE money.

Human life or profits? What should come first?


Vasche LaMou
Green Acres
on Apr 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm
Vasche LaMou, Green Acres
on Apr 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm
3 people like this

"Human life or profits? What should come first?"

Depends ... are you a Liberal or a Republican?

Liberals are rather out of style these days, therefore you know what to expect.


Jetman
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Jetman, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm
10 people like this

Vasche,

Sorry, but Palo Alto's "nextgeb" driven aircraft noise problems predate the current administration.

Chief FAA Administrator Michael Huerta is a graduate of the San Francisco and New York political systems having served as commissioner of New York City's Department of Ports from 1986 to 1989 when Huerta left New York to serve as the executive director of the Port of San Francisco from 1989 until 1993. From 1993 to 1998 Huerta held senior positions at the United States Department of Transportation during the Administration of President Bill Clinton. In 2011 Huerta was appointed by president Barack Obama to head the FAA.

"NextGen Implementation Plan 2013"
Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration ~ June, 2013 Web Link


Ravenswood
East Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm
Ravenswood, East Palo Alto
on Apr 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm
3 people like this

If you live in East Palo Alto/Ravenswood, you know you have a aircraft highway above your home the second you move into town. Whether its the 747's heading into SFO or Cessna's taking off from Palo Alto airport on a Sunday morning - It's really unfortunate!


Randy
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2018 at 12:04 am
Randy, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2018 at 12:04 am
Like this comment

Nextgen was a joke go back to pre Nextgen, problem solved. Palo Alto is still getting sprayed with air pollution even if the noise is to be reduced


Raymond
Downtown North
on Apr 20, 2018 at 11:16 am
Raymond, Downtown North
on Apr 20, 2018 at 11:16 am
6 people like this

So FAA just moved the flights over East Palo Alto??? That is called a patch not a solution they just shifted noise to another neighborhood. They didn't SOLVE the problem which should be moving flights over the Bay waters and not fly over neighborhoods.

One problem from flightradar24.com I have been tracking is flights coming from the North (Washington state, Canada, Asia, etc) cut down across SF straight down the Peninsula and step over other cities and loop into Palo Alto then head back to SFO.


1. What they should really do is fly down the Bay Bridge and then loop back towards SFO staying over the Bay water the whole time and farther away from the shoreline that would really give quiet skies up and down the Peninsula.

SFO uses this pattern on stormy days but stupidly enough they cross into residential areas of SF before looping over the Bay waters to SFO.

Yes there are departing flights from SFO that use the Bay water too but again I have seen some flights at lower attitudes get flown over by planes at higher attitudes.

2. Or fly down the Pacific away from the coast loop back into open space/state parks /warehouse areas which are non residential and then loop back up to SFO.


It's about IQ not SERFR,SERF3.... FAA use some common sense!


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